Posted by: chlost | June 13, 2011

1984 is now

In this intensely technical world, I am definitely on the non-technical side of things. I know how to use word processing (do they even call it that any more?), I send emails. I actually have several email accounts. I have a Facebook page. I am on Linked In.

But when I have problems with my computer, I call my son or daughter.

I know that the information age is passing me by in many ways. I use it to look up phone numbers or addresses when needed. is my friend. I can find a simple address and phone number there rather than taking all of the time and energy to look for it in a phonebook. Telephone books will soon be joining the dinosaurs, by the way.

Today, I found out about spokeo. com. I had heard about it. There was an NPR story about it several months ago. When I was searching for a phone number today, though, I came upon the spokeo site. I have to tell you, it is scary.

This is a site which has gathered all kinds of information about us and makes it available all in one place. Any information about us that is on the internet can be found there. Our addresses, phone numbers, our children, spouses’ and parents’ names, our income level, the causes we support, our politics, our email, age, facebook page, blog,  and a photo of our home. All very handily located in one spot. For a fee, there is even more information available. It is possible to have a monthly subscriptions to allow access to as many people as you possible for $4.95/month (discounts are available for longer subscriptions).

Ironically, the site proclaims that your subscription is completely private.

My job involves very difficult situations on very emotional issues. People sometimes get upset. It is very scary to think that someone is able to get all of this personal information about me and my family so easily. Anyone who comes into contact with the public as part of their job should be aware of this-including doctors, judges, law enforcement, teachers, bankers, nurses, social workers…..okay-everyone. This site is also quite useful for debt collectors, employers, marketers, detectives, law enforcement.

There apparently is a way to opt out of spokeo. I believe there are ways to opt out of other data mining “services” as well.

I’m going over there right now to get my name out of it. Won’t you join me?



  1. Wow, thanks for that! They even had a photo of my house! I deleted mine and then went back to check – it’s gone now.

    • Yes, there was a photo of my house as well, and 3 different past addresses for me. I deleted them, but when I checked, one did not get deleted. I did it again, and it was gone. I am going to keep checking on it, because I think they will just relist it as soon as they can.

      • I think you’re right. I also faxed in a request to “Intelius” to remove me. They say they take 4-6 weeks and only accept faxed requests.

  2. Yikes! Thanks for the reminder … I had heard of it a while ago but forgot to go deal with it. Now if my server will just allow the email to go through …

  3. Thanks for the warning – I hadn’t heard about this site. I don’t know where they get their information, but much of mine was incorrect. Anyway, I deleted mine and my hubby’s profile. Scary thing is, the info is all out there somewhere and I don’t think it’s possible to to cover it all…

    • I am sure that you can’t cover everything, but this is a pretty obvious one to delete. Some of my information was wrong, too. You can’t believe everything you find on the internet!! 🙂

  4. If you’re using google for anything, especially mail or document sharing, there’s more information out there on you than you’d care to know about .

    • I was always very paranoid about things like facebook, but have been careful to keep privacy levels high. But this is scary to have everything accessible in one place.

  5. That’s very creepy – I wish my income was as high as they have listed for me! Thanks for the warning!

  6. Ok, I’m convinced. I’ll check it out. Thanks.

  7. Well I don’t know whether to be happy or to feel left out. I’m not there. Guess I am not important enough:))

    • That would seem good to me. You must be on the “down low” as the kids say.

  8. News to me…I’m heading over now to get creeped out. Thank you for the tip–there are a fair number of crazy and angry college students that I encounter every year, so I don’t want my info listed.

    • You’re welcome. I would imagine you have very few students who are upset with you personally, though.

  9. I’ve always tried to keep up on technology, and I was always the person at work that others asked for help, but my kids can do all sorts of things I don’t understand.

    • No one but my mom or my husband asks me for help on the computer, then if I don’t know, they ask my son.

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